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    RUSSIAN POLAR EXPLORERS HOPE TO MARK INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY WITH THEIR FAMILIES

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    ST.PETERSBURG, MARCH 5. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russian Polar explorers at the North Pole-32 (SP-32) station hope to mark the International Women's Day, March 8, together with their families.

    On Friday night all the participants in the evacuation operation will gather on Spitsbergen, said Alexander Danilov, deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.

    "The evacuation of explorers from the ice floe is to begin tomorrow morning", Danilov said.

    The heavy helicopter Mi-26, capable of flying the 770 kilometers separating the station from Spitsbergen, will take people and some materials gathered by the expedition.

    In Danilov's forecast, the evacuation is to be over on March 6.

    On Saturday the explorers will be taken to Spitsbergen, from where they will fly to St.Petersburg on March 7.

    Now the weather in the station's area allows the arrival of the helicopter, the ice situation has not become worse, Danilov said.

    On March 3 the station got into the ice compression zone, forming blocks of ice which covered part of the habitation and service rooms. None of the 12 explorers of the SP-12 station - ten residents of St.Petersburg, one Belarussian and one Muscovite - has suffered.

    Earlier, the station was planned to end its work on March 20.

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